Reid Bolen, a South Aiken High School senior, has been named one of two state winners in the Wendy’s High School Heisman competition, according to a news release.
This is the second year in a row an Aiken County student has won at the state level. Last year, Frelicia Tucker of Aiken High School won the state prize before going on to win the national award.
Bolen still has to make it into the national competition but, as state winner, has already won a $1,000 scholarship. If he’s chosen as a national finalist, he’ll get a $5,000 scholarship and a trip to New York to compete for the top honor, which comes with a $10,000 scholarship.
Scholarships are based on the final level achieved, and are not cumulative. National finalists are expected to be announced next week.
The other South Carolina winner is Carter Marchbanks of Riverside High School in Greer S.C.
The Wendy’s High School Heisman celebrates scholar-athletes in high schools throughout the U.S. “who share Wendy’s values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.”
Bolen plays defense for the Thoroughbreds and ranks regularly among Augusta-area players with the most tackles.
“Reid is known by his teachers and friends for his commitment to excellence,” said Jill Jett, principal at South Aiken. “Reid’s integrity, sense of honor and call to service for his school and country are just a few of the attributes that make him outstanding and deserving of this recognition.”
Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas started the High School Heisman competition in 1994. Thomas had to drop out of school to support his family when he was 15. When he became successful, he feared that young people might think they could do the same without finishing high school or going to college, according to a new release from the company.
Since 1994, the program has honored 600,000 scholar-athletes. And, at 61, Thomas went back to school and got a GED.